Working in the Anime Industry: A Struggle

Japanese Animation Creators Association

You'd be wrong.

Here's a collected set of averages from Kotaku that shows the median salary for each different position in the creation of anime.

Series Director

Average Age: 42 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 540,833 yen ($5,036)

Average Yearly Salary: 6,490,000 yen ($60,437)

Chief Animation Director

Average Age: 43 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 470,000 yen ($4,378)

Average Yearly Salary: 5,640,000 yen ($52,521)

Producer

Average Age: 39 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 451,667 yen ($4,206)

Average Yearly Salary: 5,420,000 yen ($50,471)

Character Designer

Average Age: 38 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 425,000 yen ($3,958)

Average Yearly Salary: 5,100,000 yen ($47,491)

Animation Director

Average Age: 38 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 327,500 yen ($3,045)

Average Yearly Salary: 3,930,000 yen ($36,602)

3DCG Animator

Average Age: 34 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 320,000 yen ($2,980)

Average Yearly Salary: 3,840,000 yen ($35,764)

Episode Director

Average Age: 41 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 316,667 yen ($2,949)

Average Yearly Salary: 3,800,000 yen ($35,391)

Storyboarder

Average Age: 49 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 310,000 yen ($2,887)

Average Yearly Salary: 3,720,000 yen ($34,647)

Art Director (Background Art)

Average Age: 35 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 285,000 yen ($2,655)

Average Yearly Salary: 3,420,000 yen ($31,864)

Color Designer

Average Age: 38 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 278,333 yen ($2,593)

Average Yearly Salary: 3,340,000 yen ($31,120)

Cinematographer

Average Age: 34 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 265,833 yen ($2,476)

Average Yearly Salary: 3,190,000 yen ($29,723)

Production Assistant

Average Age: 30 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 257,000 yen ($2,394)

Average Yearly Salary: 3,090,000 yen ($28,788)

Key Animator

Average Age: 36 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 235,000 yen ($2,189)

Average Yearly Salary: 2,820,000 yen ($26,271)

Inbetween Checker

Average Age: 35 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 217,500 yen ($2,026)

Average Yearly Salary: 2,610,000 yen ($24,314)

Layout Artist/Rough Keyart

Average Age: 38 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 195,000 yen ($1,817)

Average Yearly Salary: 2,340,000 yen ($21,800)

Paint Staff

Average Age: 26 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 162,000 yen ($1,509)

Average Yearly Salary: 1,950,000 yen ($18,167)

2nd Key Animation/Clean-Up

Average Age: 27 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 93,333 yen ($870)

Average Yearly Salary: 1,120,000 yen ($10,434)

Inbetween Staff

Average Age: 24 years old

Average Monthly Salary: 92,500 yen ($862)

Average Yearly Salary: 1,110,000 yen ($10,340)

The people at the top of the pyramid make the most; that's something we can understand universally. However, even at the highest salary, the numbers still pale in comparison to what series directors would be receiving here in the States.

It only gets more depressing as you go down the list, where some of these positions mean that these employees are making less than minimum wage. Considering the amount of work and pressure these people are under, it's a little disheartening to see how little they earn for their efforts.

So, maybe rethink your foray into the industry for now...

Vin. New York born and bred. Big fan of stories in every form- oral, written, televised or otherwise. I like to hear great stories as well as tell good ones.
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